A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight

Well, I was happy anyway – still not a full cast, but seven is a lot better than five.

Tonight we had the luxury of a “free” rehearsal – one in which I hadn’t planned anything specific, just a catch up at the end of this first sequence of working through each scene in turn to assess where we’d got to and to go over scenes which people had maybe missed out on the first time round.

At Rosie’s request, we started with the third scene, Phyllis’s big moment over the drunken Snakes and Ladders game, then recapped on the beginning of Scene 4 before stopping for a cup of tea and the obligatory flapjack (I’m beginning to think I should put the recipe in the programme.) Then we ran as much of Scene 1 as we could fit in before the witching hour (if witches are abroad at 9.30pm?)

I was very pleased indeed with the way the rehearsal went – the moves were for the most part well remembered and the props came and went as they should. Most people are now using their scripts only as a back-up to aid memory from time to time and some are flying completely without a safety net and relying on prompts to keep them going. I shall be delighted to welcome our prompt duo, Diana and Adrienne, who will be with us from the next rehearsal onwards – I can just about prompt and direct but in practice it means I can’t do so much directing as I’d like. And that’s what I’m dying to get on and do once the books down hurdle has been cleared.

The plan from now on is to do another sequence of five rehearsals concentrating on each scene in turn, followed by complete runs of each act. We are where I feel we should be at this stage, and we have laid a good solid foundation on which we can build the rest of the rehearsal sequence. I felt very justified in going home to a large glass of red wine tonight! Thank you everyone, well done, and I’m so pleased to have you all with me on this terrific play.

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